Concorde II, Brighton, UK (November 7, 2002)
Four blokes in the dark: three with torches, and one at the microphone, screaming along to a backing track. This is Wire, 2002. This is 99.9, and it's the start of the Brighton show, or should I say starter?
After a brief technical hitch is brushed casually aside, the boys strap on their guitars—or, in the case of the Artist Formerly Known as Gotobed, pick up their sticks—and launch into the main meal. Read & Burn 01 and 02—the two finest snack-sized releases of the year—are fed to us, raw.
After tossing these tidbits to us for the best part of an hour and mistakenly thinking we were full, they're gone. I was obviously hungrier than I thought. Come back—I'm starving!
Wire wanders back on and although there's no Lowdown for dessert this time, they re-heat a few old leftovers nonetheless, including Pink Flag and Mr Suit. Hmmm: tasty! Not wishing to be total gluttons, we let them go...
On reflection, the two EPs sound almost tame in comparison to the live performance. Tastiest moments were Graham screaming Agfers of Kodack as if his life depended on it, I Don't Undertstand, and Spent because they're my favourite tracks of the year and were done to perfection tonight.
However, they made it all seem so effortless. In fact, the current Wire is like freshly buttered toast—no frills, but a very tasty meal all the same...
Photography: Greg Neale